Torit-Magwi road inaugurated
The World Food Programme (WFP) with support from the Kingdom of Netherlands has completed the rehabilitation of a 49-kilometre road that links Magwi County to Torit capital.
The $ 3.95 million worth of rehabilitated road aims to connect local aggregation centres to agribusiness markets to enhance food security in the state. It was officially handed over to the Eastern Equatoria state government on Monday.
Speaking during the handover ceremony in Torit on Monday, Governor Louis Loong Lojore commended the agency and partner for good work done.
He said the rehabilitated road would improve the devastating food insecurity in the state.
“I would like to appreciate the people and government of Kingdom of Netherlands for the continued support to the state and the people of South Sudan in general and also for the ready bilateral relations between South Sudan and Netherlands. I also thank the implementing agency – WFP,” Lobong said.
“The road will serve very many purposes for the people of [Torit and Magwi] counties whether healthcare services, education, markets and above all, it will allow visiting each other and in that way, it will also serve the purposes of bringing peace and reconciliation among these people,” he added.
The handover ceremony was attended by governor Lobong, the state cabinet, Deputy Head of Mission of the Kingdom of Netherland, implementing partners -WFP as well as FAO and other aid agencies in Torit.
Torit-Magwi road, which has been one of the major impediments to the smallholding farmers particularly in Magwi County, will be history in the lives of the farmers in the county, according to the Magwi Commissioner.
“Peace is already within the country and what is remains in the delivery of services to our community that we need to embark on. [Magwi County] has a lot of refugees in neighbouring countries who are soon going to come,” Commissioner Gildo David.
“When we do all these with the road and services, we are ready to settle our community, the returnees that will be coming for the reintegration,” he added while promising his leadership to ensure the sustainability of the road.
The deputy head of mission of the Kingdom of Netherlands Jan Huesken pledged his government’s continuous support toward developmental projects that aim to improve the lives of the people of South Sudan.
“We are happy that we have been able to connect this 49 kilometres of the feeder road and to hand over the ownership officially and its maintenance to the government,” said Huesken.
“We want to support the government of Eastern Equatoria in its development efforts.”
The diplomat called on the state government to arrest any form of conflict that impedes development projects.
He stressed that the feeder road would not only connect farmers to the markets but enhance communication among the citizens.
Since 2013, the WFP in collaboration with partners has constructed and rehabilitated at least 1000 both trunk and feeder roads in South Sudan to connect smallholders farmers to the agribusiness markets.
These, among others, included trunk and feeder roads in Western, Central and Eastern Equatoria State, Western Bahr el Ghazal State, Upper Nile and the Unity States that have greatly impacted positively on the livelihoods of the communities connected.
The rehabilitations have also improved the aid delivery to the thousands of people affected by the disasters who are in dire need of humanitarian assistance across the youngest African nation.